Mar 21, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​Kassam Stadium
Oxford UtdOxford United
1-0
HartlepoolHartlepool United
Connolly (78')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Richards (62'), Walton (65')
Walton (75')

Result: Oxford United beat Hartlepool United thanks to late David Connolly goal

Deane Smalley of Oxford gestures during the Sky Bet League Two match between Oxford United and Chesterfield at Kassam Stadium on September 21, 2013
© Getty Images
Oxford United beat Hartlepool United 1-0 in today's League Two clash at the Kassam Stadium, thanks to a late goal from David Connolly.

Oxford United have beaten Hartlepool United 1-0 in today's League Two clash at the Kassam Stadium, thanks to a late goal from David Connolly.

The home side were strongest in the opening exchanges, Josh Ruffels surging into the Pools' danger zone and winning a succession of corners in the first few minutes.

On the quarter-hour mark, the first real chance of the game came when Luke James marauded into the U's area, but fired his shot wide of Ryan Clarke's left-hand post.

Just two minutes later, a fine shot by Connolly from a narrow angle was turned aside by Scott Flinders for an Oxford corner.

A lull followed until about five minutes to go in the first half, when the Pools won five corners one after the other, the third attempt needing a good save from Clarke to tip it over the bar.

Meanwhile, Jack Barmby saw his shot palmed away by the U's keeper just before the break.

Four minutes after the restart, the Pools were let off as the referee waved away penalty appeals from the hosts after a Simon Walton challenge inside the box.

The 26-year-old was soon sent off midway through the second half for accruing two yellow cards, and Oxford capitalised on their 10-man opposition when David Hunt's free kick was met by the head of Connolly and flew into the net in the 78th minute.

The result sees Oxford United go five points clear of seventh-placed Plymouth Argyle in the League Two playoff places, while Hartlepool remain in 10th place.

Lee Minshull of Newport takes a shot at goal during the Sky Bet League Two match between Newport County and Oxford United at Rodney Parade on February 18, 2014
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